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Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 5:28 am | Fair 54º


4 More Suspects Arrested in Santa Maria Homicide

David Murillo Maldonado
David Murillo Maldonado

Four more Santa Maria residents have been arrested in connection with a homicide earlier this week that officials believe involved torturing the victim during what they’re calling a gang slaying, Santa Maria Police announced Thursday.

The arrests bring to eight the number of suspects in the slaying of Anthony Ibarra, 28, of Santa Maria, who was killed sometime Sunday or Monday and found dead Tuesday inside a rental truck parked in an Orcutt residential neighborhood.

Lt. Kim Graham said Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and FBI personnel assisted police Thursday in taking four additional suspects into custody in connection with the murder.

The latest arrested suspects are all facing conspiracy to commit murder charges, according to police.

David Murillo Maldonado, 55, was taken into custody at 1:15 p.m. Thursday at the Santa Barbara County Probation Department in Santa Maria, Graham said.

Santos Manuel Sauceda
Santos Manuel Sauceda

Five minutes later, two more suspects were arrested in a traffic stop in the 700 block of East Central Street. Those arrested were Santos Manuel Sauceda, 33, and Robert Sosa, 19.

Shortly before 5 p.m., Anthony Solis, 28, of Santa Maria was arrested in a traffic stop near Broadway and Bunny Avenue.

Ramon Maldonado, 37, of Santa Maria and Reyes Gonzales Jr., 42, of Guadalupe face first-degree murder charges in the case, according to the criminal complaint filed against them.

Robert Sosa
Robert Sosa

Both could face the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted, according to prosecutors.

The investigation began Monday evening, when officers were called to the 1100 block of Donovan Road near Blosser Road after a citizen reported a “possible violent crime” had taken place at a residence there, according to Santa Maria police.

No body was found at that time, and the investigation continued into Tuesday morning, when sheriff’s personnel located the vehicle believed to be involved — a U-Haul truck — on Los Padres Street in Orcutt.

Anthony Solis
Anthony Solis

Maldonado and two alleged accomplices — Carmen Cardenas, 28, and Pedro Torres, 54 — were arrested shortly after the truck was found.

Neither police nor prosecutors have offered a possible motive for the killing.

“The investigation is continuing,” Graham said.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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